Royal College of Art student develops small-scale wind energy harvesting system in UK


A graduate from the UK's Royal College of Art has innovated Moya Power, a new power-generation system that uses semi-transparent, low-cost material to produce small amounts of wind energy.

The technology uses sheets of plastic having wave-like filaments attached to them for the process.

The bendable filaments, which are also encased in plastic, stand up and are moved by gusts of air.

Those use the piezoelectric effect for the energy generation, which is the ability of some materials to generate a charge on application of pressure.

"They have the ability to transform strain or bending energy into electrical energy."

Movement of the filaments caused by the gusts of wind can generate tiny pieces of energy, which can then be stored in a battery.

Moya Power creator Charlotte Slingsby was quoted by The Guardian as saying: "They have the ability to transform strain or bending energy into electrical energy."

Slingsby has used a flexible film of polyvinylidene fluoride for her prototype, which she has created during her two-year postgraduate course in innovation design engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London.

Tests carried out on wind tunnels have revealed that the prototype can generate 10% of the energy per square metre produced by a solar panel.

However as an advantage, the technology can be deployed in areas where solar panels cannot be installed.

Slingsby added: "It is reduced in efficiency but it is looking at a new type of material which has the ability to go in far more locations. It is all about accessibility to captured energy."

The technology and the system need to undergo further research to be commercialised.